I am very lucky that I have a large supply of many wonderful friends. I have friends I work out with. I have friends I go out to dinner with. I have some faraway friends and many who live nearby. I have friends through blogging, through work, from high school (and middle/elementary school) and college…
I would say I am pretty good at making friends.
However, there is one friend making method I just totally fail at: forced friend making situations. I'm not sure why this is. Is it because I prefer to take my time getting to know someone? Is it because I just find those kind of situations awkward? Is it the pressure of "we must be friends!"?
I first discovered how bad I was at this in college. Before that, I just kind of made friends in classes or through friends of friends, and never gave it much thought. Then I went to college. I immediately befriended my roommate and a few others from my dorm. But, at BC it was a big thing to go on weekend retreats and become OMG BESTIES with everyone you went with. So I thought I'd give it a try. I'm sure you can imagine how that went. Then I tried doing some volunteer things to make friends… again, nope. It seems the more I TRY to make friends, the less I actually do.
I bring this up now because I am obviously in a new "phase" of my life. At first I thought, I really don't need any more friends, especially because several of my current friends are having babies right now anyway. But then, week 1 of maternity leave went by and I'm like I NEED MORE FRIENDS (specifically stay at home mom friends). So, I decided I'd start going to a moms group and see if I could make friends that way. I blame sleep deprivation for this temporary lapse in judgement.
So, I've been to this moms group twice. There are some great people there, and some completely ridiculous/weird people there. I handle the structured part well- the guest speaker and the check in, but then when it is time to just mingle, I find myself feeling super awkward. I fiddle with Max's car seat straps to avoid eye contact. I glance at the clock to see when would be an appropriate time to leave. I try to make small talk, but… I hate small talk, and small talk about babies is a special kind of torture. I love Max, but he has not increased my excitement about poop and sleep schedules (unless you know a way to get him to sleep longer at night, then I'm all ears).
I know I could continue to go every week and give it more of a chance, and maybe I will. But in the end I know myself, I will not make friends this way. Let's be honest, I only have 7 weeks left of maternity leave and then the last thing I will need is stay at home mom friends, so it really doesn't matter. Yesterday I had lunch with one of Eric's friend's wives who is also on maternity leave. It was super fun and I didn't need to fiddle with the car seat or glance at the clock even once.
How do you make friends? Are you the type that can go on a weekend trip and come back as best friends?